There are two types of rights to private land:
• the right of possession (possessory right) and utilisation to the benefit of land; and
• ownership by a person who has a title deed in respect of the land.
Here is a broad guide to the various land documents and what they signify:
Sor. Kor. 1 is a notification form of possessed land. This document entitles the holder to occupy and farm the land. Sor Kor 1 land may not be sold – it may only be passed on by inheritance and its use is subject to the same restrictions as Por Bor Tor land.
Por. Bor. Tor. 5 and 6 is evidence that the occupier of a piece of land has been issued a tax number and has paid tax for using the benefit of the land. This confers no rights at all and is merely a piece of evidence towards proving actual possession. The land must be used for agriculture.
Nor. Sor. 3 is an instrument which signifies the land occupier’s right to possess the land, but without conferring actual possession. The borders of the land must be confirmed by neighbours and by a ground survey before the document is issued. There are no “parcel points” i.e. numbered concrete posts which are hammered in to mark the boundaries of the land. This may cause problems in verifying the land area. There are no limits to what use the land may be put to (provided the use does not contravene height restrictions, environmental protection laws, etc.). The land may be sold, subject to a 30-day notice period.
Nor. Sor. 3 Gor. is an instrument with the same legal basis as Nor. Sor. 3. The difference being that Nor. Sor. 3 Gor has the land area and parcel points set by using an aerial survey. There is no need to publicize any legal acts, and it is possible to partition (sub-divide) the land into smaller plots.
Chanote – Nor. Sor. 4 Jor. is the only document which can be described a land title deed, because it alone confirms ownership of land. The land is accurately surveyed and its area and boundaries are set using GPS. There is no need to publicize any legal acts, and it is possible to partition (sub-divide) the land into smaller plots.